On 4 September 1991, the Flag of Ukraine Was Raised for the First Time

by Olha Povaliaieva
Sunday, September 4, 2022
On 4 September 1991, the Flag of Ukraine Was Raised for the First Time

On this day, 31 years ago, our flag was raised over the Ukrainian parliament for the first time, which marked the beginning of a new state

On September 4, 1991, 10 days ago, Ukraine withdrew from the Soviet Union, proclaiming itself an independent state on August 24. However, the red-blue flag of the Ukrainian National Soviet Republic still flew over the parliament, which in Ukraine bears the majestic name of the Verkhovna Rada.

Ukrainians, who fought for their independence for decades, gathered under the parliament building and demanded the removal of the Soviet flag. The protesting Ukrainians shouted "Shame!", broke through the police cordon and were going to break into the building of the Verkhovna Rada. People's deputy and Ukrainian national poet of Ukraine Dmytro Pavlychko appeared in the window of the second floor of the parliament and gestured to the Ukrainians that the blue-red flag will be removed.

At this time, no fewer passions were seething in parliament itself. Only on the third attempt did the deputies decide to remove the Soviet flag and raise the national flag of independent Ukraine over Ukraine — blue and yellow. It was possible to reach an agreement on this issue after Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of independent Ukraine, announced that he would resign.

Dmytro Pavlychko, Levko Lukyanenko, Roman Lubkivskyy and several other deputies of the Ukrainian parliament entered Kravchuk's office and reported on the situation with the protesters near the Verkhovna Rada. Leonid Kravchuk did not hesitate for the next session of deputies.

"The session was no more. The deputies dispersed. Kravchuk, we must give him his due, decided to remove the flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic at his own peril and risk," Volodymyr Yavorivsky, deputy of the first convocation of the Verkhovna Rada.

On the same day, August 4, 1991, at 6 p. m., Ukrainians under the parliament had the honour of observing how Ukraine was reborn: for the first time in history, the flag of the Ukrainian SSR was lower from the dome of the parliament, and instead, the national flag of independent Ukraine was raised.

The crowd rejoiced and literally carried Dmytro Pavlychko, Yaroslav Kendzer, Levko Lukyanenko in their arms. Ukrainians happily sang the anthem of Ukraine and made inspiring speeches. After 2 weeks, the presidium of the parliament of Ukraine gave the blue-yellow flag of Ukraine the status of a national one, and a couple of months later, the parliamentarians adopted a resolution on the state flag of Ukraine.

The blue and yellow flag finally marked the beginning of a new independent state — Ukraine.

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